Diablo 4 does character creation and customization better than any Diablo game to date, allowing players to design their class in beautiful detail. A variety of hair styles, skin tones, colors, jewelry, and markings will allow players to create their own barbarian, necromancer, or rogue, but only up to a point.
The artistic direction of Diablo 4, which draws heavily on inspiration from medieval paintings and old masters, also applies to character creation. While there are options for green-tinted hairstyles and colorful body paint, the custom characters in Diablo 4 look grounded and realistic – not like they’re from an episode of monster factoryor a Saints Row cutscene.
There are dozens of hair colors and skin tones, and in the preview build we played this weekend, four female and four male faces per class. (The game doesn’t seem to use male/female descriptors for its characters, for what it’s worth.) This version also featured 10 unisex hair styles, including shaved pixie cuts, long flowing ponytails, dreadlocks tied and tight. , natural curls. Beyond that, there’s a lot of jewelry. A lot.
Makeup and body paint are thematically appropriate, and again, unisex. If you want a dark eyeshadow for your barbarian dude, go for it. It looks good. If you want corpse paint for your Necro, that’s there too.
What players won’t find is a wide variety of body types, at least for each particular class. The Barbarian is suitably burly and ripped for his role among Diablo 4‘s five classes. The Sorcerer/Witch class seem strong enough to lift books and wands, but they’re nowhere near as lean and athletic as the Thief.
It turns out that body type is intentionally tied to class roles as part of the game’s fantasy, said Rod Fergusson, executive producer and head of the Diablo franchise at Blizzard Entertainment.
“The body type is something that we consider part of the class fantasy,” Fergusson said in a panel interview, noting that the developer purposely created a “dad bod” Druid and an emaciated necromancer. “Those are things that make class class, in some ways, so having a necro father or an emaciated druid didn’t really play into the class fantasy.
“We wanted to offer as much variety as possible in terms of [being] a ton of different ethnicities, hair, brands and eye colors, but there were some things that made class class, and for Diablo 4 that was the body type.
Body type and class archetypes are also tied to Diablo 4armor and gear design, and all the other cosmetics that play into a class, Fergusson said. In other words, making armor that fits most of a barbarian body would be hard to downgrade to a 90-pound version of the same class. “The high-level goal was to give the highest pick you had in a Diablo game,” Fergusson said. “We wanted it to be a lot more about your personalization [and] customization, but your barbarian [still] to be a barbarian – it’s going to be muscular, not a waif.
Diablo 4 bolsters the variety of character customization options by showcasing his adventurer campfire with random looks when players load the game. Nothing in the game itself indicates that the barbarian is supposed to be a white-haired dude of Mount Arreat, or that any other class should be locked into default gender or ethnicity roles.
So during Diablo 4Character creation options aren’t as deep as other modern role-playing games, these options can still produce great custom characters while still maintaining the dark, medieval look that Blizzard is aiming for.
Diablo 4 is slated for release in 2023 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.